NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – An 80-plus-year-old pine tree in North Myrtle Beach, the branches of which are said to have been twisted by winds during Hurricane Hazel, was recognized Sunday for having withstood the test of time.
According to a City of North Myrtle Beach news release, Jean Clarke and Ken Hudspeth, who maintain the tree in their backyard, received the Tree City Board's November Tree of the Month Award.
Hudspeth said the tree got its twisted branches from the winds of Hurricane Hazel in the 1950s. He said the property on which it stands used to be a farm. When the owner of the farm went out to survey the damage on his land after Hurricane Hazel, he noticed the pine tree had not broken but its top was twisted.
Hudspeth said the farmer rescued a both a cat and a cow that had been tossed into the tree's branches by the storm, but, after saving the cow, he heard a clanging sound. He turned and saw a cow bell remained hanging on one of the twisted limbs by a leather strap.
For several years, the cow bell rang in the wind and drew attention to the tree, before the leather strap wilted and the cow bell fell. Hudspeth said no one looked up to notice the twisted pine after that.